Alfawise U30 Pro

Alfawise U30 Pro Review—A Large Scale Touchscreen 3D Printer

A 3D printer with a built in touchscreen!
  • by Ash (112)
  • Time to complete: 1 hour

When it comes to 3D printers, I look for 3 things: Quality, Support, and Affordability. Alfawise devices, in my experience, are high quality. I always find support when I need help (a popular support channel is the Alfawise Facebook page). And most importantly, the Alfawise price range is always easy on the wallet.

It's been a while since I first reviewed the Alfawise U20. I was excited at the opportunity to check out the latest edition of the U30 Pro. But the Alfawise U30 Pro has been its own beast. While this printer is advertised as beginner friendly, reality couldn't be farther from the truth. After a week of troubleshooting and tuning, I've yet to get a high quality print from this machine.

Pros

  • Touchscreen interface
  • Heated glass bed

Cons

  • Difficult to adjust Y-axis tension
  • Assembly instructions are not clear
  • Bracket on the Y-axis motor was bent
  • Warped bed
  • Poor print quality due to warped bed

Specs

AttributeAlfawise U30 Pro
Build volume200mm x 200mm x 200m
Print MaterialsPLA/ABS
Filament diameter1.75mm
Nozzle diameter0.4mm
ConstructionAluminum Extrusion
Extruder typeBowden
Heated bedYes
Weight17.4 lb
Dimensions16.73" x 15.83" x 19.88"
PriceAround $200.00 on Gearbest

Ideal for:

  • Advanced users
  • Former tech support workers who love to troubleshoot
1

Alfawise U30 Pro unboxing

The packaging for this printer is very compact—everything comes in an 18" x 16" x 7" box. The printer comes with a few additional accessories, including a scraper and a sample of filament. You can find a complete list of parts in the Quick Start Guide.

My package included:

  • The Alfawise U30 Pro
  • USB SD card reader
  • Hex keys for assembly
  • Zip ties
  • Scraper
  • Sample filament
2

Alfawise U30 Pro Assembly

The provided instructions are useful for checking parts, but the actual instruction portion leaves much to be desired. I ended up following an assembly video on YouTube for this one.

I previously reviewed the Alfawise U20, which arrived with most of the components pre-assembled. The U30 Pro isn't difficult to assemble, but the difference was notable.

The wires now have a plastic clip to label the X/Y/Z components making assembly a breeze. Previous Alfawise printers came with paper labels that easily fell off. This update was much appreciated!

Belt assembly

The printer comes with the Y-axis belt assembled underneath the bed. Any adjustments to the tension will involve completely removing the bed. This is tedious and not very useful for fine-tuning print issues.

The X-axis belt has to be manually installed. Thankfully, there is a tensioner that can be adjusted with one of the hex keys.

Bed leveling

Bed leveling is really easy on the U30 Pro. You'll find a leveling tool build into the touch screen UI. You can choose a specific corner to measure on command—much easier than Marlin interfaces that cycle through points on the bed in a specific order.

I had one issue while leveling the bed in which I couldn't raise the bed as high as I needed. This was solved by physically moving the Z-axis endstop switch.

Despite the useful leveling tool, the bed was seriously warped on both sides of the bed. It’s impossible to get a smooth bottom layer.

3

A big thank you to Osdoyi PhD for helping me through the assembly process! A few components are different between the U30 and U30 Pro, but you’ll find this video still covers 95% of the build process. The only major change is the touch screen which connects with a new pin connector.

4

Alfawise U30 Pro build quality

Alfawise printers are notoriously sturdy. The frame is made of aluminum and coated with a red and black paint job. The printer is designed with the power supply and most of the electrical components attached to the bottom of the frame. I appreciate not having a separate box to make room for next to the printer.

The parts used are clean and well finished. I personally enjoy the color scheme and appreciate the design effort put into such a budget-friendly device.

The bed, however, was warped enough to cause an issue when printing—especially initial layers. The Y belt is connected to a bracket that arrived bent, I had to straighten the warp in the bracket with a set of pliers.

5

Alfawise U30 Pro motion system

The Alfawise U30 Pro comes with the Y-axis system pre-assembled under the bed. You will need to put the X-axis and Z-axis components together. Assembly is straight forward but fine-tuning is critical for getting quality prints.

Alfawise includes a series of hex keys that can be used to adjust the tension of your belts and almost any screws on the motion system.

6

Alfawise U30 Pro size

This printer doesn't take up much space at all—you'll need a 16" x 15" space on your desk. The height can vary depending on what filament you're using, but you'll generally need a least 2 feet of vertical space.

Even though most of the electrical components are housed under the printer, there’s still a decent amount of free space under the bed. I really like the design of the feet and how open the underside of the printer is.

7

Alfawise U30 heated bed

The heated bed is made of glass with a textured material on one side. I found it difficult to remove my prints from the material and flipped it over with the glass side facing up. This drastically improved the bottom layer of my prints. Adhesion wasn't an issue and prints removed without a struggle. The bed temperature can be manually adjusted on the touch screen to override existing gcode settings.

The bed warped on both sides causing a big issue with initial layers when printing. No matter how level the corners are, the center of the bed is off by at least .5 mm.

8

Alfawise U30 bowden extruder

The U30 Pro features a Bowden extrusion system attached to the X-axis. The touchscreen interface provides a few tools for sending commands to the extruder. You can easily load and even unload filament at the touch of a button.

9

Alfawise U30 Pro touchscreen

This is one of the most exciting components of the U30 Pro. Forget knobs—this printer has a touchscreen interface. It's easy to get spoiled with an interface like this on a 3D printer.

The screen is pressure-sensitive, unlike most phone screens. The UI is much more intuitive compared to the U20. The tools provided are very useful and easy to access when you need them—move any of the axes, send commands to the extruder for filament changes, set temperatures, and even make flow rate adjustments.

10

The U30 Pro has a few safety features that help protect your prints. When a job is finished, the hotend is pulled away from the final print and all heated components are cooled. If no filament is detected, the print job is automatically paused. When new filament has been added, the print can be resumed. If you choose to cancel a print, the nozzle will be moved back to the home position instead of staying in place.

11

Alfawise U30 build volume

The build volume is 200mm x 200mm x 250mm—perfect for most of your at-home printing needs. This bed is on the larger side for a casual 3D printer. Given the value, I have no complaints about the bed size.

12
Alfawise U30 Pro filament

This printer supports common filament types, such as:

  • PLA
  • ABS
  • PETG

Your biggest limiting factor will be the nozzle temperature which can reach a maximum of 250°.

13

Alfawise U30 Pro SD card

The print loading process is very familiar—gcode files are put onto a microSD card which is inserted into the card slot on the left side of the printer. All files available for printing can be accessed on the touchscreen under Files.

14

You can easily pause and resume prints on the Alfawise U30 Pro. If you're in the middle of a print job, press the pause button. Some conditions may cause the print to pause automatically—like missing filament.

15
Alfawise U30 Pro prints

Because of the warped bed, the initial layer will not print properly. Filament pools to one side while smearing across the other. Adjusting the belt tension can reduce banding and "stair step" issues in your final prints. However, I was unable to alleviate the Z-axis banding in my final prints.

I also ran into a minor extrusion issue, something other U30 users have encountered before. When the filament is extruding properly, the layers adhere nicely and look very smooth. Overall, the build of the U30 Pro is holding back the best possible quality.

16

Alfawise U30 Pro benchy

Here's a closer look at the top of Benchy.

17

Alfawise U30 Pro

The Alfawise U30 Pro looks nice and doesn't take up much space. The paint job adds a nice sleek finish and I really appreciate the touchscreen interface. But this printer is struggling to keep up with the competition.

The warped bed makes it nearly impossible to get really fine quality prints. The end results are never precise, despite adjustments to the X and Y belts. And if your printer decides to extrude properly, you still encounter banding issues throughout the Z-axis. You may want to shop around before settling on the U30 Pro.